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Gameday preview: Dallas Stars @ Anaheim Ducks (9:00p CST)

The Dallas Stars will look to bounce back from yet another late game meltdown at the Staples Center after allowing two third period goals in a 5-4 overtime loss last night the Los Angeles Kings. It was a loss that negated any emotion and momentum the Stars had gained Tuesday night in San Jose, leaving the team quiet and in shock in the locker room and on the bus ride back to the hotel. The Stars must find a way to forget the disappointment of just a night before as they face a team they are in heated battle with for playoff positioning. Anaheim and Dallas are locked at 68 points with Edmonton and with most teams in the Western conference idle tonight, the Stars have a chance to leapfrog a few of those ahead of them.

Unfortunately the Stars will be without right-winger Jere Lehtinen, who missed last night's game after flying back to Dallas for medical consultation on his undisclosed upper-body injury. With Brendan Morrison added to the team, Dave Tippett should use the same lines as the night before, with Mark Parrish sliding up to Mike Ribeiro's line and Morrison centering a line of James Neal and Fabian Brunnstrom.

This will be the first game for the Anaheim Ducks after the trade deadline, when they traded a number of their talented forwards for future prospects and young players. It will be interesting to see how the team responds after losing gritty forward Travis Moen and fan favority Samuel Pahlsson.

If the Stars hope to come away from this West coast road trip successfully, they will need to be much more disciplined than they were against the Kings. Several unneccessary penalties led to LA having numerous power play oppurtunities in the final minutes of the game that gave them the chance at the comeback. Marty Turco is expected to be in goal yet again for the Stars, after allowing four goals twice in his previous three starts. Dallas must gain some consistency from every aspect of the game, from the netminding to the forecheck if they hope to have any chance to securing a playoff spot.

Key Injuries:

Dallas: RW Landon Wilson (ribs) is day-to-day. RW Jere Lehtinen (upper body) is doubtful. C Toby Petersen (foot), C Brad Richards (wrist), LW Brenden Morrow (knee) and D Sergei Zubov (hip) are out.

Anaheim: D Bret Hedican (back) and D Francois Beauchemin (knee) are out.

Stats comparison:

2008-2009 Team Stats
68 Points: 68
30 Wins: 31
2 Shutouts: 6
24 Power Play Rank: 5
21 Penalty Kill Rank: 19
.889 Win % When Leading After 1: .737
.852 Win % When Leading After 2: .950
.300 Win % When Trailing After 1: .095
.048 Win % When Trailing After 2: .130